5/22/2013 9:54:00 AM Attorneys: Cleveland kidnapping victims 'happy and safe'
CLEVELAND (AP) — The three women rescued after being held captive in a Cleveland house for about a decade want the community to know they are doing fine and appreciate offers of help.
The message was relayed in a letter released Tuesday by their attorneys.
The letter said Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight are happy and safe. A charity fund to help the women has raised more than $650,000 from more than 6,800 donors.
Berry broke through a locked door on May 6, yelled to neighbors for help and enabled Knight and DeJesus to escape.
“These three brave women have asked us to give this message to everyone who has expressed concern and support,” said the attorneys, who are representing the women for free. “Amanda, Gina and Michelle want you to know they are doing well. They are happy and safe and continue to heal, a process that requires time and privacy.
“To have complete strangers offer loving support in the form of money, goods and services, reaching out to help like a family member, is appreciated in ways that are impossible to put into words.”
Ariel Castro, a 52-year-old former school bus driver, has been charged with three counts of rape and four counts of kidnapping, one for each of the three women and one for Berry’s 6-year-old daughter fathered by Castro.
His defense team says he will plead not guilty. The case is pending before a Cuyahoga County grand jury.